Old Patong:The Early 80’s:The Fools

Wayne and Vangie had just bought the big restaurant next to Patong Beach Bungalows.

They were seasoned expats from Singapore, Americans by birth, but fools by habit. They knew everything.

The dutchman they’d bought the restaurant from also sold them a late model Isuzu pickup truck.

All too soon their troubles began. The dutchman didn’t actually own anything he sold Wayne & Vangie! Not one brick in the restaurant or even the pickup truck.

Soon the real owners of the restaurant[the man who DID own it and Patong Beach Bungalows next door tried to “negociate” with the new would-be owners, but Wayne & Vangie had been around, [Wayne was an arms dealer[gun runner?]who had worked alot with the Japanese and South Africans, Vangie was the real “brains” of the two, but her obnoxious ways did little to help in their various [il]legalities for the next year] because they had a “lawyer” in Phuket town that would smooth all these bothersome matters soon…little did they know.

Looking to save a baht, Vangies managerial skills left much to be desired. She ALWAYS haired the first people she met for whatever jobs needed to be done aorund the shop and ended up with the dregs of society, resulting in an extremely badly run operation!

Naturally the “lawyer” in Phuket town turned out to be little more than a para-legal, with NO real help for the beleagured pair.

That first year saw the Police arrest either Wayne or Vangie or both, WEEKLY!

They spent so much time in the little Katu Baan Ling, that they had their food catered by their employees as needed.

Adding to the mess, both Wayne & Vangies main purpose in life was to irritate the locals, insult the Monarchy and imbibe until unconsciousness took its daily toll, sometimes as early at noon, but usually they could hang on til the shop closed around midnight.

The expat community, as well as the locals of Patong Beach soon stayed clear of the pair that came to be known as “Know-it’alls”.

Never came the day when Vangie didn’t screech into Thai Garden complaining about her & Waynes latest disasters.

We often made bar bets as to how long they would stay out of Baan Ling[Jail]and it was a wonder they didn’t get into real trouble, but after a year of their nonsense, suddenly they couldn’t buy a VISA to return,their work permits as General Managers just a misterable memory and they returned to Singapore never to soil the golden shores of Patong again.

Another of the fools was a young German guy, he ran the new scuba dive shop across the street from Ladas Bar. He’d married Dao’s brothers exwife, the most beautiful Lek just a few months before, they were living in a small bungalow at the eastern end of Bar Road when one day, INTERPOL arrived and took the young German away, it seems in his earlier existence, he’d robbed a bank in Germany,etc,etc,etc. We bought most of his furniture from his bride to fill our little house in the village.

Fools and their money seemed to always be rolling onto the beach in those early days, the big Indian guy bought the bungalows next to Patong Beach Bungalow that year also, he was another know-it-all too, he had a yen for illeagal drugs, his VISA was not renewed shortly after the Police drug him away, he was one of the lucky ones, he just got deported.

Sad but true, but the aging beachboy, Samai and his Brit pal Tom made one too many trips to Krung Thep and ended up as permanent guest of the Brokedown Palace. I believe they are still there.

These are just a few of the sad stories of reality that overtook the greedy and the foolish in those early days.

They same kind of people still exist, if you meet any of them, STAY CLEAR, GO THE OPPOSITE direction, for these fools will bring down all around them and a fool and their $ or baht are soon parted.

Kindly remember, something too good to be true, often is.

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